Truck driver's death results in company facing court
A former long-haul freight business has been sentenced and fined $360,000 after a long-distance truck driver was struck and killed by the loading ramp of a trailer he used to transport two vehicles in 2019.
Acting Head of SafeWork NSW Andrew Gavrielatos said the company, formerly known as Territory Transport Pty Ltd, pleaded guilty in the District Court of New South Wales to one count of failing to ensure as far as reasonably practicable the health and safety of workers.
“The court heard the truck driver was fatally injured after hauling two passenger vehicles from the Northern Territory to New South Wales,” Mr Gavrielatos said.
“During the course of the work trip the driver visited the employer’s depot at Hanwood in rural NSW where it was decided a different prime mover and trailer would be used.
“The hydraulic ramps for the trailer were not inspected or tested before the drive to Sydney.”
The court was told the truck driver completed the drive to Ingleburn, removed safety chains from one of the trailer’s heavy metal loading ramps and walked near the ramp.
An expert found that the trailer’s ramp hydraulics failed which caused the ramp to fall and hit the driver, who did not survive the injuries.
The court heard the company concerned was a good corporate citizen with no prior record since it commenced operations in 2011.
Representatives for Territory Transport Pty Ltd have a right to appeal the sentence which was handed down on 21 September 2022. Link to the court’s judgment.
“In the transport industry, unloading is one of a number of work activities identified as high risk and may cause serious injuries or death,” Mr Gavrielatos said. “The watchwords must be ‘safety first’ for each workplace and task.”
Visit the SafeWork NSW website and discover road freight industry resources for businesses and employees.
To read the NSW Government’s ‘Transport Work Health And Safety Sector Plan’ click here.
Further information about workplace safety can be found on the SafeWork website here.